Ministerial reshuffle: Government boosts focus on cyber security

Appoints Dan Tehan as minister assisting the prime minister for cyber security

Victorian Liberal MP Dan Tehan has been appointed minister assisting the prime minister for cyber security as part of a post-election cabinet reshuffle.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the appointment today at a press conference. Tehan will also be minister for defence personnel and minister for veterans’ affairs in a ministry whose members remain largely unchanged from its pre-election line-up.

Appointing a minister assisting the prime minister on cyber security was a recommendation of the government’s cyber security review. The move was part of a package of initiatives to streamline governance in the area.

The Australian cyber security strategy, unveiled earlier this year, said that the position would aid efforts to form a cyber security partnership between government, business and the research community.

The document stated: “Organisations need easy and consistent interfaces with Government agencies on cyber security. A new streamlined Government cyber security structure will bring together disparate elements of both the policy and operational areas.

“The Prime Minister will be supported by a Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for cyber security to lead the Government’s work with business leaders to implement the initiatives.”

Turnbull also announced that Christopher Pyne will be appointed to the newly created position of minister of defence industry.

Pyne will help drive Defence’s Integrated Investment Program, which was launched as part of the 2016 White Paper and includes a $300m boost for Defence cyber capabilities.

Pyne was formerly minister for innovation, industry and science, helping launch the government’s billion-dollar innovation agenda.

Greg Hunt will shift from his current role of environment minister to take on Pyne’s former role. Hunt he will “drive and national innovation and science agenda,” Turnbull said.

Former assistant minister for innovation Wyatt Roy lost his seat in the federal election. Craig Laundy will become the assistant minister for industry, innovation and science, Turnbull said.

Senator Mitch Fifield will continue in his role as communications minister. Fifield replaced Turnbull in the comms minister role after Turnbull ousted former PM Tony Abbott.

Angus Taylor remains assistant minister for cities and digital transformation, and Senator Fiona Nash keeps the minister for regional communications role.

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